Public Policy and Advocacy

  • Responsible for reviewing pending legislation for items that will impact the members of the Association or its natural constituency, and
  • After bringing the items and its recommendations before the Board and the Association, taking such action as the Board or the Association deems proper

Asha Smith, Co-Chair

In addition to her Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School, Asha Smith holds two Master Degrees from The New School (Media Studies and Teaching). As a Public Defender for the Legal Aid Society, Asha represented some of the most vulnerable persons in New York City in serious felony cases. She has appeared as an on-air expert regarding the criminal justice system and recently appeared on-air on the Law and Crime Network, providing trial commentary for the People v. Markeith Lloyd,
the Florida man who killed his pregnant ex-partner and their unborn child, and who allegedly killed a police officer during the ensuing manhunt. Asha is a long-standing member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, where she currently serves as the Chair of the Judiciary Committee and Co-Chair of the Legislation Committee. Asha is also a Fellow of the New York State Bar Foundation. Additionally, Asha sits on the Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers’
Association (NYCLA) and chairs NYCLA’s Criminal Justice Section. Asha is admitted to practice in the State of New York, the Southern District of New York, and the United States Supreme Court. Outside of law, Asha’s passion is entertainment. While not in court, Asha is often contributing to various film and television projects in the capacities of Entertainment Law Counsel, Director, Producer, and even as a professional Make-Up Artist.

Dwayne Andrews, Co-Chair

dwayne-andrewsAdvocating for clients in New York City, Albany and Washington, DC, Dwayne Andrews has worked for more than a decade as a lawyer and government relations professional, building on his experience as a Congressional aide in New York and the nation's capital. Dwayne has served as an associate general counsel and the head of government relations for a national education provider and currently represents a diverse mix of clients in the economic and real estate development and infrastructure sectors, as well as education, telecommunications and technology companies and organizations. Dwayne has participated in several panels at national and local conferences to discuss legal and policy issues.